Issue 169 of FRONT has definitely been an inspiration for me. I’ve discovered some wonderful women within this month’s magazine, but my next interviewee is included in that group quite by chance. The interviewee in question is the lovely Lola, who I began talking to about featuring on this blog last month. Again by chance, she told me she had a Suicide Girls set about to be published at the start of May, so we decided to hold off on the interview and coincide posting this piece with the release of her SG set. While I was planning the piece, and waiting to conduct Lola’s interview, she was told she would be in FRONT issue 169. Amazing timing or what! During the completion of this article, I found Lola to be a bubbly and very gracious person indeed. She was so excited about being published in two bastions of alternative beauty, and completely down to earth. It is a joy and a privilege to feature this lady at the start of what I know will be a very fun and very fruitful future career.
Q: Welcome Miss Lola. It’s brilliant to have you on my blog. How have you been of late, busy I take it?
Lola: Hi Rich, thank you for having me! I’m a massive fan so I’m really excited to be doing this interview. Yeah, I’ve been super busy trying to reply to all the lovely messages and photo shoot offers I’ve had recently!
Q: You are just starting out on your modelling adventure, but already have some exciting projects you’re involved with. We’ll talk about your Suicide Girls set and your FRONT inclusion later in the interview, but for now could you tell us how you got into modelling, and why?
Lola: I first started modelling in my first year of college, I had loads of friends doing photography in college and uni who asked me to model for them. From then on I had friends of friends asking me and people began to tell me I should start modelling more, and that I should apply for Front/SG. So the second I turned eighteen I set up an online portfolio and the offers starting rolling in, I was so shocked!
Q: The modelling industry is many different things to many different people, but what is your personal view of the business? Did you know what to expect going in? Or has being part time meant you can keep some distance and not get sucked in to the more stressful/negative aspects?
Lola: Being part time has definitely helped me; I haven’t found it stressful at all. I think it’s the best way to get started rather than jumping into the deep end and trying to arrange a ton of shoots in one go. To me modelling is all about having fun, I haven’t had a single photo shoot that I haven’t loved!
Q: Would you say modelling is a hobby right now with the hopes of turning it into a career, or are you just enjoying your time and seeing where the work takes you?
L: At the moment I’m just seeing where the work takes me, I’m really loving having it as a hobby for now. I think that maybe in the future I’ll look into doing it more full time but that won’t be for a while.
Q: Do you have any women in the industry that you particularly admire? Is there anyone that inspires your desire to model, or even influences you in terms of approach?
L: I have a massive girl crush on both Bridget Blonde and Alysha Nett, they are both so gorgeous! I love how they can both pull off so many styles and that’s what I want to aim for with my modelling, so I would definitely say they’re inspirations!
Q: Your images to date have been splendid; there is always a flood of light and an airy quality to the pictures. It’s a brave style to shoot in, as any imperfection is out there to be seen, but you pull it off wonderfully! Have you had much input into the way you’ve been photographed so far? Or is it all about finding the right collaborations that work for you?
L: I’ve had a bit of input, I’ve put out casting calls for different styles I want to shoot in and I’ve had loads of responses. It’s nice that I can put forward an idea for a shoot and find a photographer willing to shoot me, but I also love new ideas. My favourite shoots have been ones where photographers have approached me with an idea I would never have thought of.
Q: By the way, you don’t have any imperfections in my eyes, you are a stunning individual. I love the energy and changing emotion you can bring to a shoot as well, one minute you can portray intimately beautiful soulful gazes, the next its brassy sassy attitude laden glamour. Do you enjoy the challenge of creating different looks from frame to frame, and how do you do it so well?
L: Ha-ha, thank you. You’re making me blush! I love creating different looks, I’m a terrible actress but pulling faces seems to be my forte which works to my advantage!
Q: I really like the more fashion based stuff you’ve done with the likes of Ollie Bell; you’re incredibly photogenic in many different styles of photography, but what would you say is your favourite? Would you like to get into more glamour modelling, more alternative and fetish modelling, or more fashion stuff? Or are you happy mixing things up right now?
L: Ollie Bell is a great friend of mine, he was one of the people who got me into modelling, I love working with him! I’m enjoying trying out the different styles for now, seeing which get the best responses. Ideally I’d love to do alternative fashion, maybe do some modelling for clothing lines too. But for now I’m happy to try a bit of everything.
Q: How do you most like to work on a set Lola? Do you like direction from a photographer, or are you more comfortable being improvisational? What’s the perfect atmosphere for you when shooting do you think?
L: I like some direction from the photographer so that I can give them the shots they want, but I do love to improvise. The perfect atmosphere for me is laid back, chatting and having a laugh. I personally think I perform better when I get on really well with the photographer.
Q: We’ve got to talk about your tremendous recent debut as a Suicide Girl. Congratulations first of all, it’s very impressive to have shot with such a well known group of glamorous gals. What does it feel like having a set on their website?
L: Thank you! At first it was a bit daunting having my photos up on a site with hundreds of beautiful girls. But the feedback I got from both members and SG girls was amazing. Everyone had such lovely things so say and were so supportive. It’s encouraged me to submit a new set soon!
Q: I loved your work for the SGs, and really think you fit into what they’re trying to do over there. Could you talk us outsiders through the process a little please Lola, how did it all come about for you and what was the shoot like?
L: It’s really straightforward; to apply all you have to do is submit a few DIY shots of yourself and a scanned copy of your ID. If they get back to you and they like what they see they’ll ask you to submit a set to them. They have photographers you can get in contact with on the site but you can also submit a DIY set or one that a friend has done for you. I actually did a DIY set as I was having a lazy day at home when I got their email, so thought it would give me something to do! I would recommend any girl to apply; everyone on the site is so supportive and friendly.
Q: You’ve had rave reviews for your pictures already, it must be a tremendous boost for you this early in your career. You’ve already reached a pretty impressive milestone shooting with the Suicide Girls, but what are your further ambitions with regards to modelling? Where would you like to see your career go in the next few years?
L: Hopefully my SG set will get me some more shoots, a big ambition is to do some alternative modelling for magazines. I think it’s every girls dream to see their face in a magazine really. I’m hoping my career will pick up in the next few years and I’ll begin to make a name for myself!
Q: Yet another achievement you reached recently was inclusion in FRONT issue 169 how did that feel when you heard the news? Have you been a FRONT fan for long?
L: I was amazed, I really didn’t think I would get chosen! Although it’s only the DIY alt section, to me it’s a massive deal! I’ve bee a FRONT fan for ages now, it’s definitely my favourite magazine, so it was so exciting to find out I was going to be published.
Q: Much like the Suicide Girls, FRONT Alt Girls are an impressive bunch. You’re in the DIY section this month, but what would it mean to get a full feature in the magazine?
L: It would be the highlight of my modelling career! I think if I was offered a full feature I could die happy ha-ha!
Q: Finally on FRONT, how many copies of the issue you’re in will you be buying?
L: Just the one, but I have told everyone I know to go buy a copy too!
Q: Another topic I really wanted to talk to you about in this interview Lola is your lovely tattoos. You have very vibrant and eye-catching pieces on your right thigh and left shoulder in particular. I know you must get asked this a lot but could you please talk us through those two designs in particular, and the decisions behind the imagery and the style of tattoo.
L: Thank you my lovely boyfriend, Akira Newland, has done all of my tattoos. The one on my thigh is my all time favourite! The inspiration came from a painting I found floating about on the internet of a woman with a deer in her hair; I loved it so I asked my boyfriend if he could design me a tattoo in his style using that painting. It took about 9/10 hours all together and it was worth every minute of it! My rose on my shoulder wasn’t as well thought out as my thigh, my boyfriend is well known for his amazing roses and I thought my shoulder would be a nice placement!
Q: Do you have any desire to get more artwork done on your body in the future? If so, is there a particular placement where you’d most like to get something?
L: I have so many ideas for new tattoos I wouldn’t know where to start! I would really love to get a chest piece at some point in my life. My plan is to save up some money and get it done by a big name.
Q: What other creative influences do you have/enjoy? What have you been watching and listening to of late, and have you got any plans for gigs or festivals this summer?
L: Recently I’ve loved listening to James Blake, I go through phases of genres but currently I am in love with his voice! I haven’t planned any festivals as of yet as I’m going on holiday with my best girls. But most likely I will be going to Hevy Fest! But I really hate camping!
Q: Back to your modelling finally if we could Lola. Have you got any projects coming up that you’re particularly looking forward to? Where can people that admire your work see it next?
L: I have a really exciting shoot lined up with a photographer called Raj Chitnavis (rajphotography.co.uk) which I’m really looking forward to!
Q: Can we please finish with Bernard Pivot’s questionnaire?
What is your favourite word? Sequin
What is your least favourite word? Snog
What turns you on? Men with facial hair
What turns you off? Feet!
What sound or noise do you love? Dripping taps
What sound or noise do you hate? Cotton wool being pulled apart
What is your favourite curse word? SHIT!
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Animal care! Something like RSPCA
What profession would you not like to do? Bin man, bins make me feel sick. Yuk.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Smoke?
I found it very interesting talking with Lola at this early stage in her career. She’s done magnificently already to achieve acceptance with both FRONT and the Suicide Girls. I am so intrigued to follow her career from this point, and really wish her all the very best. If you haven’t seen her SG set yet then I’d suggest you head over there asap, or hit up her tumblr at the link below for Lola’s posts and thoughts.
All images were sourced by me, and used with Lola’s permission.